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This Crying Earth - 12/17

Series: Mosaic
Word Count: 40.092
Summary: Coedwig Street has been a peaceful neighbourhood for a long time but now, a mysterious being is roaming the street and gardens, scaring the families living there and getting Torchwood's attention. The team doesn't know that it's messing with a force older than Earth … and its dangerous allies. And while Gwen is having problems with Rhys and Ianto is struggling with his attraction to Jack, the Fairies don't seem to be finished with the captain, yet.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Rhys Williams, the Fairies, Andy Davidson, Myfanwy, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Everything Changes, Ghost Machine, Small Worlds, Fragments, Characters from Children of Earth (Ianto's family) / Novels: Slow Decay / Doctor Who: Mentions of The End of the World and hints at The Sound of Drums plus The Last of the Time Lords
Setting: after Small Worlds
Warnings: OC M-Preg in the past. Language.
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
Beta: alt_universe_me , danian  and Vistin. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Chapter Eleven
Masterlist

Remember to drop a comment at rex's LJ for the awesome art made for this story.

***
***


12.


Ianto landed on his back, one of his hands trapped under him, one of Jack's hands pressing against his windpipe, the other one held the fist Ianto had raised to hit him. Jack's legs were pinning Ianto's to the floor and his chest prevented Ianto from sitting up. They were both breathing heavily, and Jack loosened his grip around Ianto's neck just so, simulating the stranglehold. “You have two minutes before you get too weak because of the lack of air.“

Ianto arched his back but Jack pinned him back on the hard mat that was covering the floor of the small training room. Ianto managed to free one of his legs and wrapped it around Jack's hip. He pushed up with the help of the hand trapped under his body and grimaced when his wrist protested the weight it had to move. He managed to flip them over, though, but before he was able to secure the position, Jack had flipped them back around and bent one knee to trap Ianto's hand on the floor. “What do you do now?“ Jack asked. “One minute left.“

Ianto tested how much he could move his legs and raised his eyebrows. “My knee, your groin.“

Jack nodded and let go of him. Ianto used the opportunity to flip them over again. Jack smiled. “That hurt,“ he agreed. “But ...“ He moved his hand. From the corner of his eye, Ianto saw him pull one of the plastic knives they kept for training purposes from the waistband of his trousers and ducked when Jack attacked him. He grabbed Jack's wrist and slammed it down on the mat. Jack grimaced and let go of the knife.

Ianto grabbed it and held it to Jack's throat. He smiled. "I win, sir."

"Obviously." Jack grinned and Ianto put the knife away before looking down at him. He froze. Suddenly, he was back in that abandoned warehouse where they'd caught Myfanwy. Ianto had almost kissed Jack back then and only the sudden thought of Lisa had stopped him. He still didn't know if he'd almost kissed Jack to give him another reason to hire him or if he'd almost done it because he'd wanted to. Jack stuck his chin out – challenging just like he had back then – and Ianto couldn't stop himself.

When their lips touched, Jack's hands gripped Ianto's hips and pulled him closer. Jack opened his mouth and Ianto deepened the kiss. One of his hands burrowed in Jack's hair, turning his head just so, and Jack's hands pulled Ianto's t-shirt up to caress the warm skin of his back. He spread his legs to let Ianto lie in-between. It was so easy because this was something they knew, even though it felt new every single time. But their situation had changed, and Ianto realized what he was doing. He broke the kiss and got up. "No. No, I can't," he said and left the training room. He headed down the dimly lit hallway to the bathroom, opened his locker and hurried to find his mobile and car keys in the pocket of his suit jacket. He didn't want to take the time to get changed. He didn't want Jack to catch up to him.

"Ianto."

He froze. A hand touched his shoulder and Ianto turned away. "Don't," he gasped before he could stop himself.

Jack raised both hands. "Alright." He tilted his head and shoved his hands into his trouser pockets. Ianto closed the locker and leaned against it. He ducked his head and from the corner of his eye could see Jack coming closer and stopping next to him. "You kissed me," Jack said.

Ianto raised his head to look at him. "I know. I'm sorry."

Jack smiled and rolled his eyes. "There's no need to be, Ianto."

"Of course. It was inappropriate and ..." He stopped and ducked his head again.

"Wrong?" Jack asked gently. He took another step closer. "No, Ianto. Never." He sighed deeply. "What's bothering you? Is it … memories?"

It would be so easy to say yes, but Ianto had promised himself not to lie to Jack again. "It's not just about Lisa," he admitted.

"Huh," Jack said. "Is it because I'm a man?"

Ianto pulled his shoulders up, unsure. Jack seemed to take that as a yes and asked gently, "So, is it because you can't pretend that you're doing it for Lisa or to get my trust any more?"

Ianto shook his head. "That's not it."

"Then what?"

"Patterns," Ianto answered with a helpless smile. "I get into patterns and it's hard to ... let go of them."

Jack drew his eyebrows together. "What kind of pattern are we talking about here?"

Ianto rubbed his forehead. "I'm not sure if I ... did that because I'm ... used to it. Like a ... habit." He looked at Jack. "I'm attracted to you, but I'm not gay."

"So this is about sexuality," Jack said with a sigh. "Why's that so important to you people?" Ianto didn't answer and Jack nodded slowly. "Okay," he said. "That's something you have to work out for yourself and I wasn't very helpful. I'm going to hold back from now on until you know what you want. No flirting, no kissing ... promise." He smiled.

Ianto answered with a weak grin. "I'm afraid that's against your nature."

"I admit," Jack continued joking, "it's going to be hard. You're so ..." He shrugged. "It's going to be hard. Just know that I'm interested, Ianto. Very. I'm not looking for something serious and I doubt that you need a relationship right now, but ... if you ask for a bit of fun, then I'm going to say yes." He smiled, turned away and left.

***

Gwen stared at the flat door, undecided for a moment, but then she rang the bell. She was already wondering if this was such a good idea, but there was no turning back now. Tosh was wearing a robe when she opened the door. Her eyes widened in surprise.

"Gwen," she said.

"Yeah," she answered and bit her lip nervously. It had been a stupid idea to visit a colleague she didn't know well enough for surprises that late in the evening.

Tosh was standing in the door, obviously not sure what to do about the unexpected guest, and Gwen shook her head. "I'm ... I caught you at a bad time, right? I should go." She turned away.

Tosh took her arm. "No, don't you dare. I was just taking a bath." Gwen turned back around to face her. Tosh smiled weakly and stepped out of the way. "Come in."

Gwen held up a bottle of wine. "I come bearing gifts."

Tosh smiled and closed the door. She motioned towards the kitchen. "There's a corkscrew in the drawer next to the fridge. I'm going to go get dressed."

Tosh's kitchen was surprisingly big and she had one of those kitchen islands Rhys kept going on about. Gwen wasn't a good cook, she didn't like spending her time in front of a stove, but Rhys was different. He loved cooking and he was fantastic.

Tosh returned wearing a t-shirt and old jeans. She was putting on a cardigan.

"I should have called. I just didn't want to be alone," Gwen said while Tosh got two glasses from the cupboard.

"No, no, it's okay," she answered, smiling at Gwen. She led her into the cosy living room and they sat down on the couch. Tosh had a lot of books. Gwen's eyes scanned the shelves and she noticed that most of them seemed to be specialised books and scientific essays. There was an illustrated book about Wales on the coffee table and some DVDs in the shelf next to the telly – classics, and now Gwen remembered Tosh and Ianto talking about old movies from time to time.

Gwen poured them wine and got comfortable on the couch. They sipped and an uncomfortable silence settled over the room, then Tosh asked, "So, what's the matter?"

Gwen sighed deeply. "Rhys and I had a row," she sipped her wine, "and now, Jack's mad at me, too."

Tosh frowned. "What's got Jack to do with it?"

"A lot," Gwen answered. She stared helplessly at the ceiling for a moment, then she brushed some hair out of her face and explained, "Rhys thinks that I'm having an affair with Jack."

Tosh smiled. "And he hasn't even met him yet," she said. Gwen had expected sympathy or amusement, so she was surprised by the simple acceptance.

"Gwen," Tosh said, "Jack is Jack. He's overwhelming and larger than life and I know how it is to work with him for the first few months. Maybe you were a bit too enthusiastic."

Gwen shook her head. "It's not about Jack, really," she said. "It's the job. I've never done something that meant something before." She leaned her head back looked at Tosh. "This is the first time that I'm doing something really important." She rolled her eyes. "God, maybe I was too happy about it."

Tosh laughed. "Possibly, but I can relate."

Gwen sighed deeply. "I'd like to tell Rhys what I do. I asked Jack and he said that's impossible – that I'd have to decide what I want. I understand that. I'm just scared that ... I'll lose Rhys."

Tosh folded her legs on the couch. "At least, you have a life outside of work."

"You could have that, too," Gwen answered. "Owen could have that. Or Jack and Ianto."

Tosh shook her head. "Owen isn't interested in that kind of thing." She seemed sad for a moment, then she added, "As for Jack and Ianto ... I think Ianto's still grieving for Lisa and I don't know why, but Jack isn't one for relationships. I've been working for him for years. I never saw him with anyone who was more than a one night stand and even those are rare."

"What about you?" Gwen asked.

Tosh rolled her eyes. "I always want what I can't have."

"The wrong men," Gwen nodded. "I fell for those, too, before I met Rhys." For a moment, she hesitated, wondering if she and Tosh were close enough for the question she wanted to ask her. Her curiosity won out in the end, "Do I know him?" Tosh blushed. Gwen grinned. "Okay, I know him." The most logical answer was, "Jack?"

Tosh's eyes widened and she laughed. "Oh, God, that's so over!" She calmed down. "I had a crush on him when I started working for Torchwood."

"Did you two ever ..."

Tosh shook her head. "No. He knew that I wasn't really ... it was an emotional time for me and he was there and ... that's what kind of triggered it."

Gwen noticed that Tosh was leaving something out, but she decided not to ask what it was. "So, it's not Jack. Ianto?"

Tosh shook her head.

"You can't be serious," Gwen said. "Owen?"

Tosh blushed and avoided Gwen's eyes. Gwen had never expected to be right. Someone like Ianto – quiet, friendly and shy – was just the more logical answer. She could have understood if it had been Jack. Not someone like Owen who had another woman in his bed every night. He was dangerous. Gwen could understand Tosh – she'd always liked the more dangerous men, too, but they weren't the right ones for a steady relationship, and Gwen doubted that Tosh was the kind of woman who enjoyed one night stands or affairs. Tosh seemed to notice her scepticism, because she said, "Maybe you underestimate Owen."

"He's a jerk."

"Not always," Tosh answered. "He's been through a lot."

"Huh," Gwen said, undecided. She sipped her wine.

Tosh checked her watch. It was quiet for a few minutes. Gwen was wondering if she should go now, but she didn't want to return to an empty flat.

Tosh brushed a hand through her hair. "You want to watch a DVD?"

"Would that be alright?" Gwen asked, relieved.

"Of course," Tosh answered. "I'm always up late."

***

It was only a room, Jack told himself and unlocked the door – slowly, as if that would help him to face what was awaiting him. It was almost a ritual, playing out every few years. First Matthew's file and then the room he'd lived in during his pregnancy. He hadn't been able to leave the Hub when he began to show, and Jack had made one of the guest quarters a bit cosier for him. Cosier for both of them.

He opened the door and switched on the light. The bulb flickered reluctantly, but then it gave in and illuminated the room. The walls were bare, not even painted, and gave the quarters the atmosphere of a cellar. A double bed in one corner of the big room, a cradle in the other, next to it a rocking chair and a standard lamp. There was a record player on a small table, a desk lamp, and at the foot of the bed, an oven. It was simple, rustic and impersonal. Everything was covered in dust, the corners were cobwebbed.

"I hate it down here," Matthew whispered, pulling the duvet higher. He was looking at the standard lamp that was giving off a dim light. "It's always dark, no matter how many lamps I switch on."

Jack put his head on Matthew's shoulder and slid one hand below the duvet to spread over the prominent bulge. "It's not long now. Then we can leave the Hub."

"We'll never be able to tell them the truth," Matthew said sadly, entwining their fingers.

"About the baby?"

"About us," Matthew whispered. "You can never be officially his father."

"To be precise, I'm not," Jack answered. "He'll be made up from your DNA only. That's what fertilizers are for. You're single, you want a kid, go for it."

Matthew chuckled. "Just because I was stupid enough to push the wrong button doesn't mean you can't be his dad." His voice grew serious and he turned his head to look at his lover. "I can't do this alone, Jack."


Jack's hand brushed over the bed and he passed the rocking chair to stand next to the cradle. The white linens had turned grey and were crusted with dust.

"What are you thinking, Jack? You can't do this alone," Constantine Jane said calmly. He was a huge man with ice-grey eyes and short blonde hair. He was wearing a dark coat over a white shirt and dark trousers.

Jack cradled the baby closer to his chest. He glared at the Torchwood leader in determination. "Watch me."

"Give me the baby, Jack," Constantine demanded.

Eveline Mason stepped up to Jack and put a hand on his arm. She looked at him with sad green eyes and straightened her blouse – a dead give-away that she was nervous, something that didn't happen too often. The dark long hair framed a pretty face, and when she raised a hand to tuck a few strands behind her ears, her wedding ring reflected the dim light. Even though her husband had died three years ago, she kept wearing it.

"We found a family for him. They're looking forward to taking care of him, and they won't ask questions."

"No," Jack said. "I wasn't here to protect Matthew when he needed me and I won't give up on Michael."

Constantine cursed loudly. "He is not your son!" he said, and Michael started to cry. Constantine ignored him. "The lad is gone. His property is now Torchwood's and that includes the baby, and we decided to give him to a family that will take care of him. That's it."

"He was never more than a guinea pig for you, same as Matthew," Jack answered. He glared at Constantine. "I wouldn't be surprised if you were responsible for whatever happened to him."

Eveline stepped in-between the two men and looked at Constantine pleadingly. He glared at her for a moment, but then he gave in and stepped back. Eveline put one hand on Michael's back and the other on Jack's cheek. "Jack, please."

"He's my son," he said and tears gathered in his eyes. "He's Matthew's."

"We waited long enough and we looked everywhere for him." Eveline shook her head. "He's gone."

"He'd never leave Michael."

Tears ran down Eveline's face. "I know. Something happened to him, but maybe we'll never know what it was." She sighed. "Jack, you can't care for him. Torchwood is your life."

He ducked his head and pressed his cheek against Michael's head, nuzzled the dark soft hair. He whimpered and held on to his coat, used to his smell and his voice, but upset because his father hadn't held him for weeks.

Jack looked at Constantine. "I want to know where you're taking him."

"No," Constantine said.

Eveline glared at him over her shoulder, but she agreed, "That wouldn't be good, Jack. But I chose the family, okay? He'll have wonderful parents." Her hands took Michael from him slowly. Jack sobbed and pressed a last kiss on his head.


The door to the room slammed shut and startled Jack out of his memories. He heard soft laughter and the sound of wings and his hands balled to fists. "You're too scared to show yourselves," he said, "but not too scared not to rummage through my mind. What do you want? Why Matthew?" He didn't receive an answer.

Chapter Thirteen
Masterlist

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
usakiwigirl
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, so sad. Poor Jack...

And poor Ianto needs to get himself sorted, pronto!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
I admit, a rather tragic chapter ...
larsinger29
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
This was such an amazing chapter! Oh my goodness, the emotions you worked with here. My heart is twisting for poor Jack!

I'm new to Torchwood fanfic/fandom, but not new to fanfic. This series is, by far, one of the best I've ever read. You are truly a master of capturing your audience and enticing them to become emotionally involved in your character and plot. Each character is handled with such care, such attention to detail and personality. Their actions and motivations are realistic and relatable. I really cannot commend you enough for the well crafted, engrossing stories you produce.

I'm looking forward to where you take this story. You've really added new depth to these characters, and I am totally invested in finding out what you do with them. Well done!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Welcome to Torchwood fandom and thank you so, so much. :)
iolo1234
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Wonderful stuff so emotional for both Ianto and Jack. I even feel sorry for Gwen when realisation hits. Talking of telling Rhys I'm reviewing Meat tonight.
baiba69
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
Please, want Matthew was Ianto`s grandpa.
Still love this story. Thank you.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
tonjavmoore
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Ummm... what family?

That has me wondering...

This is really, really good.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
milady_dragon
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
When you said the baby was placed with a family...?? Hm...

Loved this. Ianto is so confused right now. And Gwen...she's going to really have to work to get Rhys back in her corner.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
jsks
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
what happened to the baby and how is this connected yp the fairies?
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Or: Is it connected to the Fairies at all? Hmmm ...
punkchick1995
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
Poor Ianto! Poor Jack! <3

Oooh im intregued by the family...
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
:)
fide_et_spe
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Ooh I really can't guess what's happening here. How very sad and tragic.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
I don't want you to be able to guess, yet. But we're nearing the final ...
lone_star_woman
Mar. 9th, 2011 07:47 am (UTC)
I have to admit I enjoy hand-to-hand combat kink, so the beginning of this chapter was a treat. I'm also glad that Jack is giving Ianto the space he needs to figure things out.

I was totally buying into the Gwen+Tosh friendship until Tosh admitted that she had a crush on Owen. If this follows canon, then I hate Gwen.

I liked Jack's backstory. I can really understand why it's important that Gwen have a life outside of Torchwood (instead of being the heart, blah, blah, blah).
jolinarjackson
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Why do you think did I choose hand-to-hand combat? :) Big kink.

This will follow canon. It's supposed to be total canon-y. So let's just see what will become of Gwen and Tosh later on.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )